We did an egg retrieval in January that failed miserably: 20 eggs retrieved, 9 mature, 6 fertilized, all arrested by Day 6. Zero embryos to test or transfer. We were pretty devastated.
BUT! We just finished our second egg retrieval last weekend and found out today that we got EIGHT blasts to send for testing! We got 22 eggs, 14 mature, 14 fertilized, 8 made it to blast. I will list below all the changes we made, but I really think a huge part of the improvement was that we used the ZYMOT CHIP for sperm sorting this time.
The ZyMot chip is a super simple and inexpensive device that helps sort the sperm to figure out which are the champions. It also reduces DNA fragmented sperm down to around 1%. (After our failed cycle, with no clear reasons why it failed, we did a DNA fragmentation test and it came back as 35% fragmented, which is only a little higher than normal, but a urologist recommended the ZyMot to us and I went down the rabbit hole of reading every medical study and watching every video and became convinced that it would help us.) Our clinic hadn't yet used it, but I advocated for us and pushed for it and they got some free samples from ZyMot and agreed to try it. (The chip usually costs around $125, so it's definitely affordable in the grand scheme of IVF costs).
I just want everyone to know about this chip, because I feel like everyone doing IVF should use it. It can't harm the sperm in any way-- it only helps find the strongest sperm in terms of morphology, motility, fragmentation, etc. I really do believe it is a HUGE part of why our two cycles were so drastically different.
These are the other changes we made:
I switched from the Antagonist protocol, which is what we did last time (because my body was still fighting to ovulate on Cetrotide, we had to trigger a day or two earlier than my doctor would have liked so we had a lot fewer mature eggs.) In January, I took 300 IU of Gonal-F, 2 vials of Menopur, 33 units of Omnitrope each night for ten nights of stims, started Cetrotide partway through, and then triggered with Ovidrel.
This time we did the Lupron Down Regulation cycle, and we got five more mature eggs than last time. I did 10 units of Lupron for ten days leading up to my period and then lowered it to 5 units during stim shots. I took 300 IU of Gonal-F, 2 vials of Menopur, 33 units of Omnitrope each night for ten nights of stims, and then triggered with Ovidrel.
My husband and I both did weekly acupuncture and Chinese herbs (although I stopped the herbs before doing the stim shots).
I upped my CoQ10 from 400mg to 800mg daily (400 in am and 400 in pm).
I added DHEA, 25mg, 3 pills per day for a total of 75 mg.
I added 5mg of melatonin.
I took a Royal Jelly supplement.
(I also continued to take my prenatal vitamins and prenatal DHA)
My husband took a cocktail of supplements, mostly in the FertilAid supplement, with 100mg extra of selenium, 600mg of CoQ10, and L-Carnitine.
I cut out caffeine and alcohol (except for the very occasional glass of wine for the special occasion) for a couple months and ate a lot of greens, avocado, eggs, wild salmon, roe, etc. My husband wasn't as hardcore, but was eating well and greatly limited his alcohol intake- which was never very high anyway.
I know we have many more steps to go, but I'm truly over the moon today and taking this victory!
That's it. I hope this helps someone. I'm a true believer in the ZyMot chip and encourage everyone to look into it! Good luck!!